Estonians Nurme and Maasik win Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges Run
The Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges race, which was held again in Pärnu this weekend following a two-year break due to the coronavirus, was won by Estonian marathon runner Tiidrek Nurme, with Laura Maasik finishing first in the women's event.
Victory for Nurme (TÜASK), who claimed 11th place in the men's marathon during last month's European Championships in Munich, and also won the Two Bridges run in 2015, never looked in doubt. After putting distance between himself and nearest rivals Ibrahim Wachira Mukunga (TÜASK) and Leonid Latsepov (Sparta) in opening kilometers, Nurme gradually extended his lead as the race wore on, to finish with a new course record of 29 minutes 33 seconds. Latsepov took second in 29 minutes 57 seconds, with Mukunga third in 30 minutes 12 seconds.
"Recovery, not only physical but also mental, still takes time," said Nurme after the race. "But, as you can see, everyone we went to Munich with - Kaur Kivistik and Roman Fosti as well as myself - is made of stern stuff, having run in local races before. The Pärnu event is at a high level, I've been coming here for years and I've seen it," Nurme said, adding that the promotion of running culture does not only depend on the athletes and organizers. "(When I was) running today, I saw that the promotion of the sport is dependent on the local community as a whole," said Nurme.
In the women's category, no one could get near Laura Maasik (#headinimesed), who triumphed for the first time in the Two Bridges run, with a time of 35 minutes 3 seconds. Second place went to Pille Hinn (Sparta), with her clubmate Helen Bell finishing third in 36 minutes 3 seconds.
"I went out hoping to improve on my personal best, and I would have been happy to beat the 35-minute mark," said Maasik, adding that during the last kilometer she felt a loss of momentum, which cost here that goal. "If I do a few more road races, I'll reach my target," Maasik said.
A total of 1,057 runners and 204 walkers finished the Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges run, of which 149 completed the timed course. There were an additional 133 participants in the Pärnu Evening Run on the opening day of the event, with 500 children and wheelchair also taking part in specially organized races.
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Editor: Michael Cole